It is finally starting to feel like spring in Grand County! As the snow disappears our appetites begin to change with the season. We tend to crave lighter foods like salad versus big bowls of stew. A good rule of thumb in eating clean this spring is to include fresh fruit daily and veggies in every meal. You will have more energy, get your daily fiber, and the anti-oxidants prevent premature aging!
Every year the Environmental Working Group comes out with 2 lists to help us choose our produce most effectively. The 1st list is of the most pesticide laden produce. Known as The Dirty Dozen, this list names the fruits and vegetables that, when grown with conventional methods, have been found to contain the highest amounts of pesticide residues by the time they hit the grocery store bins. The 2nd list called The Clean 15, details the fruits and veggies with the lowest amount of pesticides. This is the lowest amount, not zero amounts. You still need to wash well prior to consuming.
Does it really matter? I guess that is a personal choice, but I think it does. No matter how well you wash your produce it is impossible to get all the residues off. It matters because there is an established link in the amount of stored toxins in the body to the amount of fat in the body. To simplify a more lengthy explanation that includes the strength or weakness of an individual’s digestion: The more toxins you store, the more fat you will have. To me, that matters.
The new list for 2016 just recently arrived. We work hard for our money. Use this list to spend your money on the organic options for the Dirty Dozen. To save some cash, purchase the Clean 15 as conventionally raised produce. Buying organic is a great way to eat clean, non GMO and nutrient packed food. By avoiding the dirty dozen, we can reduce our exposure to pesticide residues by 80%.
This year the dirty list has 2 additional items being listed as “dishonorable mentions”. If you are avoiding GMO versions, corn and papaya on the Clean 15 have been additionally marked GMO. Those should be purchased organic.
Here you go!
2016 Dirty Dozen in order of most pesticide amounts to least- best to purchase Organic.
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
+ Hot peppers and Kale/Collard greens as dishonorable mentions.
The Clean 15 2016- lowest levels of pesticides and safer to purchase non-organic varieties
- Sweet corn (GMO)
- Sweet peas
- Papayas (GMO)
- Honeydew melon